in a Bottle
suggested grade levels: 6- 8
view Idaho achievement standards for this lesson
1. Students will learn about basic concepts such as evaporation, condensation, and relative humidity.
2. Students will become exposed to the Digital Atlas of Idaho.
|hot water||Isopropyl alcohol|
Use the cloud imaging section of the Digital Atlas of Idaho. To get there: Click on Atlas Home, Climatology, then on Cloud Imaging. Scroll down and read the section on and learn about the many different types of fog. This should serve as an excellent review before doing this activity. You may also wish to review the relative humidity, condensation, and evaporation sections if you are not familiar with these topics.
Review as a class:
-Relationship of relative humidity with temperature
These concepts are important to review because the students must understand them in order for the students to understand the following activity. When doing the following activity, have the students try to predict what should happen at each step along the way.
Fill a bottle one-third full of very hot water. Add a few drops of isopropyl alcohol. Alcohol vaporizes rapidly, letting you see the fog form more quickly. Place a piece of ice over the bottle mouth. Observe what happens near the neck of the bottle.
Questions for class discussion:
1. What happened to the relative humidity as the air cooled near the top of the bottle?
2. What caused the condensation you observed?
3. Could this also be how fog and clouds form?
4. Would you expect to see fog at cooler temperatures or higher temperatures?
These are links to access the handouts and printable materials.